Is this China ’s century ?

With the collapse of USSR, it had been unanimously admitted in 1990s that the world had transformed into a unipolar regime dominated by United States. But the same cannot be said firmly in today’s global scenario. Even the US has realized that it is no longer the only power to dictate the global system as per its mood and interest. Several countries like India, Russia, Japan, Brazil, especially China have greater role to play in today’s world arena. Not completely but to some extent China has replaced former USSR to counter US dominance. In fact, the ‘China’s Century’ has been coined by Global Language monitor. Here by China we mean People’s Republic of China and should not be confused with Republic of China (Taiwan).

China also known as People’s Republic of China is located in East Asia. It is known for its world’s population of over 1.35 billion. China is the second largest country in terms of total area after Russia, Canada and USA. China has a glorious history with several dynasties established their empires not only in China but also extended their dominance outside. Ever since the establishment of People’s Republic of China in October 1949, it has raised its height economically, politically, strategically and diplomatically. China has shown instincts of potential super power.

As most important, let us first talk about the economic rise of China. Since liberalization policies introduced by China in 1978, it has been become one of the world’s fastest growing economies mainly focusing on its growth prospect from investment and export. According to the latest report from IMF (International Monetary Fund) average growth rate of China from 2001 to 2010 was nearly 10.5%. Also, economic growth rate of China in the year 2007-1021 was similar to all the G-7 countries growth rates combined. According to National Bureau of Statistics of China, they have the world’s second largest economy which is approximately $9.32 trillion. In terms of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) also it is the second largest economy after United States with GDP per capita was US $6.853. While on per capita income basis China ranked 92nd GDP (PPP) in 2012, according to the Inter-national Monetary Fund. China is the renowned as the largest credit lending nation and owns approximately 20.8% of foreign US Treasury Securities.

Its capabilities to produce high productivity, low cost labour and significantly great infrastructure have made it a global leader in global arena. Today Chinese goods like mobiles, computers, electronic equipment, children toys and many others are dominating the global market. China manufacturers 90% of computers and cell phones supplies around the world. China manufactures 70% and half billion pairs (in numbers) of shoes and nearly 50% of the modern warfare like ships, which are also the backbone of world’s trade are manufactures in China.

China is one of the largest producers of agricultural products like vegetables, fruits, rice, etc. and also enriched in minerals like coal, gold, oil, etc. China is the largest producer of energy but consumers most of it itself.

The process of urbanization along with industrialization is fast growing. China attracts a large amount of FDI and is also a major investor in other countries. China is a member of WTO and other formal and informal multilateral organizations dominated by economic concerns like APEC, BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BCIM and G-20 and play a vital role in global economic order.

All these facts are sufficient to prove China’s rise as an economic super power. Considering the today’s growth it is expected that by 2040 China will be the largest economy in the world with India second and US at the third place. In 2012, Economist and author of Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China’s Economic Dominance, Arvind Subramanian, argued that China will lead the world’s financial system by 2020 and Chinese currency will replace the dollar as the world’s reserves in 10 to 15 years. The World Bank’s Chief economist Justin Lin in 2011 said that China, which became the world’s second largest economy in 2010, may overtake US to become the largest economy in 2030, if current trend continues. The standard chartered Bank in 2011 report suggested that China may become the world’s largest economy in 2020.

As far as the politics is concerned China is the leader of communism today. It has rightly replaced former USSR as the promoter of communist ideology and one party system with completely state regulated political society. However, the communism in China has changed over the time and not remained same as propounded by Mao and induced some positive reforms including providing some freedoms to individuals and market consequently contributed in its rise.


Diplomatically as well China has attained a status of not only a regional power in Asia but also a global power. Since its inception in United Nations in 1971, the People’s Republic of China has good relations with 171 countries and maintains embassies in another 162. It has replaced the Republic of China (Taiwan) as a permanent member of UN Security Council. It has been observed that China is not the silent observer of the international events and asserted strong opinions on several issues and used Veto power in UN Security Council. China has the longest border in the world and shares boundaries with fourteen countries and has border disputes with many. But it successfully has dominated the scene as far as border issues are concerned. With many countries it has resolved border disputes except India and Bhutan. Despite border conflicts China has succeeded in a cordial bilateral economic and cultural relations with its neighbors. China is the leader of Asia and developing countries of the world and has greater say in global forums of UNO, WTO, G-20 and BRICS. In East Asia it has unopposedly dominated the scene and enjoying and effective force in whole Asia as well as world along with India and Japan.

China had shown its military and strategic might during India-China war 1962 and Korean War 1950 (in Korean War Chinese forces fought in support of North Korea even in its tender age as its (PRD) inception was not much older event.) Today China has really a capable and powerful military and strategic strength. China is a recognized nuclear weapon state and had the world’s largest army standing army with the second largest defence budget. With the development in Science and Technology it has enriched its strategic strength and has endeavoured to modernize the military land, air and naval. Since the late 1990s, China’s has been rapidly modernizing its military forces. Use of information Technologies in warfare has focussed the attention of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on using against its enemies. Particularly in the role of interstellar assets, electronics systems and their linkages to computers and computer networks to create system and ‘system of systems’ have identified space operational roles in information warfare. China advances in these futuristic technologies reflects that its military is less focussed on conducting a traditional ‘people war’ campaign and more focused on using networked information systems to target enemy while at the same time striking at enemy information systems to deny that enemy these same capabilities. China’s military is also well equipped with espionage system.

China has added several milestones in its space technology including its first moon rover mission in December 2, 2013. China’s Bullet train is one of the fastest in the world. China is also one of the opportunities in the field of super computers and robot technology.

China is transforming into a hub for higher education with large number of students for foreign countries being interested in pursuing higher studies in China. The literacy rate is growing rapidly and people are showing their intelligence all over the world. As of 2-1-, 94% of the population over age 15 are literate, compared to only 20% in 1950. The Chinese scientists received Nobel Prize for Physics, Chemistry and Literature and their influence is growing rapidly.

China has shown its emerging power states by organizing several international events including organization of Summer Olympics in 2008 in which it also won 51 gold-maximum number of gold medals of any participating nations that year. China’s sport dominance has extended outside the traditional Table Tennis and Badminton monopoly. Tourism is China is flourishing day by day. All these show how strong China is building its infrastructure in almost every field.

The above facts and illustrations no doubt are evidences of rising China. China is rising and approaching to a super power status with a fast rate, but this rise should not be blindly done. China has been criticized on encroachment of human rights. As clearly seen Chinese people are not fortunate enough to enjoy the same rights the citizens of other nations are enjoying. The written constitution of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) states that the fundamental rights of citizens include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to fair trail, freedom of religion, universal suffrage and property rights. However, in practice these legal rights do not have much relevance against criminal prosecutions. Repeated censorship on political speeches and public information on the internet is repeatedly used in China in order to silence the criticism of the government and ruling communist party. A number of foreign governments, foreign press and NGOs also routinely criticise China’s human right violations such as detention without knowing, forced abortions and confessions, repeated cases of tortures and restrictions of fundamental rights. Also use of excessive death penalty is also the example of suffrage faces obey Chinese people. Many times, China has put up negotiating deals to resolve its disputed borders with India and Bhutan. China is also involved in multilateral deals regarding the ownership of several small Islands in East and South China seas like Senkaku Island and Scarborough Shoal. The Chinese economy is highly energetic and active. China is the largest energy consumer. All these are some of the deterrents of China’s ‘peaceful rise’

To conclude, the claim that is this China’s century and its projection as a potential super power is indisputable. Particularly its economic rise is notable which even undermined a decade long US monopoly in the global market. China saved itself from 2000s (2008 to present) global recession and is rising continuously. It has left the tag of so called development country behind and just to reach the status of a developed nation equivalent to US, Russia, Britain and other European countries. However, certain issues like violation of human rights, territorial disputes and environmental concerns the Chinese leaders would have to be taken into account for sustainable rise of China.


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